Vertical Applications

pikefisher.gifI have just been reading how the market for telemedicine devices and services in the USA will generate nearly $3.6 billion in annual revenue within the next five years, with mobile-services companies taking a sizeable chunk of that business.

This ties in well with a potential client I visited today who isn’t anything to do with medicine. However, they do have a very specialised, vertical mobile solution that has the potential to be very successful. This got me thinking about vertical applications.

If you look on the application stores, most are the applications are very general. There are also many advertising-based and mobile social type services at the moment. Most of these ideas can be copied and bettered. They are also difficult to scale cross-platform because they require writing for every mobile platform.

In contrast, specialised mobile service companies tend to develop deep functionality or intellectual property that’s difficult to copy let alone improve on. Hence there’s little or no competition. Their solutions also tend to focus on one platform or even one phone thus easing development. Their solutions also tend to be B2B. It’s also important to recognise that they are selling a service, not mobile applications.

I think there are many new opportunities of specialised B2B/enterprise applications. Some of these might be…

  • ‘Man in a Van’ type applications
  • Medicine
  • Exposing enterprise databases on the phone
  • Learning and education
  • Aptitude testing and assessment
  • Security
  • Inventory and stock control
  • Analytics
  • Telematics
  • Remote control
  • Machine to machine
I believe new mobile services in these and other specialised areas will probably have a longer life than many of the applications on today’s application stores.

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